Private School Classroom Activities Year’s End
By: Sharon Penn - April 11, 2016
Bringing about a sense of community and closure to the school year is particularly important for a private school. The last weeks of school are the perfect time to have students reflect on what they accomplished, instill a sense of satisfaction in their achievements and reinforce the pride they feel for their school. End of the year activities can go a long way in promoting retention when the new school year begins.
Closure activities are an affirmation of belonging that defines a student’s place within the student body. Here are some ideas for the classroom that will resonate with students all summer long and build anticipation for a new grade in September:
1. Reflecting on Accomplishments
The final weeks of the school year present an excellent opportunity to have the class look back on where they began and where they are now. The lesson is that working hard can lead to great achievements, and they can have fun in the process. As students reflect on what they achieved as a class and on an individual basis, they will figure out how they performed as learners. They can begin by identifying projects that were easy and enjoyable, and pinpoint those that were more difficult and time consuming. Students can also make predictions about what they anticipate learning next year as an extension of this year’s achievements.
2. Group Closure Activities
To reinforce a sense of camaraderie and instill the sense that they are part of the school team, ask the whole class to brainstorm about what they accomplished together. They can then break up into groups to come up with ideas like “All the Books We Read,” “Our Favorite Subjects,” “New Words We Can Spell,” and “Class Projects We Completed.” To inspire pride in their work, ask students to create a visually attractive presentation of the lists and post them around the room. Expand the lesson by asking the class to create an illustrated book of memories of the school year. As an extra step, you may have the books professionally printed by a custom printer with the school logo on the cover.
3. Individual Closure Activities
The end of the school year is also a time for personal reflection. Children can be amazed at the progress they made over the last ten months. A good way to contrast the difference between where they started out and where they are now is to have them select a piece of individual work from September, and compare it to a similar piece of work they completed recently. Chances are the student will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in their growth, and develop a “can do” attitude that will stay with them. As an extension of this exercise, ask each child to present his thoughts to the class in an essay, poem or illustration.
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